NPPC leads coalition of more than 150 agriculture groups calling inspection funding
A group of more than 150 agriculture and trade organizations sent a letter to Congress warning of a potential $630 million shortfall that could weaken agriculture inspections at the borders.
The letter specifically mentioned the shortfall’s impact on the Agriculture Quarantine Inspection, which plays a crucial role in the protecting U.S. agriculture disease. The USDA’s Plant Health Inspection Service collects AQI user fees to pay for U.S. Customs and Border Protections ag inspections, however, travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have greatly cut into those fees being collected.
The coalition was lead by the National Pork Producers Council, who states preventing African Swine Fever from reaching the United States is one of its top priorities.
“CBP and USDA agriculture inspectors are our first line of defense to ensure African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases (FADs) remain outside the United States,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “Lapsed vigilance of these inspections would have devastating consequences for U.S. pork producers and all of agriculture, the backbone of the American economy. It is vital that Congress address this significant funding shortfall, allowing U.S. pork producers to maintain a healthy U.S. swine herd.”